Cyberwarfare and Cyber Politics

Cyber politics is a new frontier in the realm of politics, one in which government is the principle actor. This seminar will emphasize the vulnerability of political systems when government lags behind adversaries or hostile parties in developing cyber capabilities. Conflict has already begun to take the form of cyber war, in which the combatants are sovereign states, criminal organizations, dissident groups, thieves, and intellectual experimenters. Twenty-first century warfare is qualitatively different from the conflicts of the past. There is little controversy that an acute need exists for those in management and government service to have in focus the nature of the threats and the options for frontline defense and/or other active measures.

This seminar locates itself on the emerging frontier of thinking about the relationship between technology, politics, and conflict. Specifically, it examines the way that cyber warfare and cyber politics impact the characteristics of democracy including participation, communication, and legitimacy. The crucial element is how or if “cyber politics” – the use of electronic devices and cybernetics by governments and competitors – can change the balance between stability and change.

The implications are more wide-ranging that anyone can imagine.